Research Shows Shift in Home Improvement Trends

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 26 February 2008 16:00

As the housing economy slows and energy costs accelerate, Americans are looking for home improvement projects that work to add value to their home and add to their monthly savings. In a national study conducted by Kelton Research, over two in five (44%) homeowners surveyed said that if presented with the free services of a contractor, window replacement would be more important than a variety of popular home improvements like a kitchen remodel, installing new carpeting, landscaping the yard or building a new deck.

"A majority of American homeowners (51 percent) said their windows aren't 'green' or energy-efficient enough," said Elaine Sagers, vice president of marketing, Pella Windows & Doors. "That fact combined with this new sense of practicality about home improvement projects tells us that many consumers are truly looking for ways to reduce how much their house actually costs them in monthly bills and upkeep."

In the study, over half (51 percent) of Americans said that of anything in their home windows offer the most potential when it comes to energy efficiency, even more than other products including lights (48 percent), insulation (48 percent) and heating systems (43 percent). Nearly two out of three (65 percent) homeowners believe that energy efficiency is the most important quality to consider when choosing new windows. The virtues of green energy-efficient windows easily won out over other qualities like durability, safety, ease of use, soundproofing and clarity.

"We have long recognized the priority homeowners, builders, and contractors and architects put on energy efficiency when it comes to choosing windows and doors, said Rob Jablonski, Pella's vice president of engineering whose team is focused on designing and testing innovative energy-efficient solutions. "We are continuously striving for ways to make Pella windows and doors the best they can be in terms of quality and energy efficiency."

Taking energy efficiency a step farther, Alternative Construction Technologies, Inc. recently announced that it has certified 21 new Manufacturer's Sales Representatives, including Eco$mart professionals, for the qualified sale of its environmentally friendly, energy conserving and disaster resistant ACTech galvanized steel structural insulated panel system (SIP). The course included schooling on the Company and procedures, the present and future state of the 'green' building industry, the earnings opportunity and the proper way to sell the ACTech Panel system.

"We are quite pleased with our first graduating class, and with nearly $7 million in annual available commission dollars available from our current production capability, we aim to have between 70 and 100 certified Sales Representatives by mid-year," said A.J. Francel, COO. "This will pave the way for greater demand and production efficiencies which will, in-turn, open the door for lower costs, additional production plants and more sales."

"The depth of material and experience included in the training was quite impressive," stated Matt Ross, President and Founder of Eco$mart, Inc. "The preparation of our sales staff has already shown to be valuable, as several of our team members have already received approvals for the ACTech system in residential and commercial projects in just a short time."

The ACTech Panel System is the ideal product for builders wishing to differentiate themselves from traditional conventional block or 'stick' builders predominant in their local markets and competing for the same consumer's dollar. The ACTech Panel system gives builders the opportunity to gain new business in competitive or down markets while aiming to capitalize on current, global green-building trends. It is environmentally friendly and easier to construct with -- not only saving labor cost and cutting construction time, but also reducing recurring monthly heating and cooling energy bills by 30-50 percent while possessing disaster resistant strength.

[Note: The Pella Windows & Doors Survey was conducted by Kelton Research between Jan. 10-16, 2008, using e-mail invitation and online survey. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population of homeowners ages 18 and above.]

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